Healthy Recipe: Vietnamese-Style Grilled Chicken Bowls

Photo of a healthy noodle bowl with grilled chicken.

Lemongrass Grilled Chicken & Noodle Bowls

Recipe by Ivy Manning | Photo by Erin Kunkel

Full of cool veggies, tender rice noodles, and lemongrass grilled chicken, these bowls are the perfect summer supper. To mince lemongrass, trim off the tough ends and smack the stalk with a mallet or rolling pin a few times to make it easier to chop. You can find fish sauce at the grocery store on the international aisle. Just check labels for sodium, as some brands are higher than others.


¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) minced lemongrass (see note above)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar, firmly packed
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1½ lb (750 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
4 oz (125 g) daikon radish, peeled and shredded or julienned (about ¼ medium)
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded or julienned
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
8 oz (250 g) thin brown rice noodles (also labeled rice vermicelli)
4 cups (4 oz/125 g) shredded romaine lettuce
½ cup (½ oz/15 g) chopped fresh mint (loosely packed)
½ cup (½ oz/15 g) chopped fresh cilantro leaves (loosely packed)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

For the dressing:
2¼ teaspoons fish sauce (see note above)
1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
1 red Thai chile, finely chopped or 1½ teaspoons finely chopped Serrano chile


In a zip-top plastic bag, combine the lemongrass, garlic, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 4 teaspoons lime juice. Add the chicken and massage to coat. Seal the bag, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the daikon, carrots, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (or preheat a grill pan over medium heat) and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Place the chicken on the cooler side of the grill, cover, and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the hottest part of the grill and cook, uncovered, until lightly marked on the edges, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the chicken across the grain.

While the chicken is resting, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar, 4 teaspoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, garlic, and chile. Set aside.

Prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cool water and drain well. Divide the lettuce between 4 large bowls and top with the noodles. Arrange the chicken, daikon-carrot salad, mint and cilantro, green onions, and peanuts on top. Serve the noodle bowls with the dressing on the side.

Makes 4 servings


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 436
Protein 29 g
Total fat 10 g
Saturated fat 2 g
Carbs 63 g
Fiber 11 g
Total sugar 13 g
Sodium 430 mg

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